First of all, I would like to say a huge thank you for all the people who have volunteered their time to let me meet with them virtually and be part of my project. I am in the middle of transcribing your interviews which contain some very interesting and what I hope will be important ideas and thoughts that will inform the next stage in my project. I have had 22 interviews with a wide range of people providing me with an equally rich tapestry of thoughts and perceptions within which are some common threads that demand further enquiry.
Today I spent 1 hour on a Webinar hosted by La Trobe University in Australia, delivered by Professors Burke and Mills leading a conversation of Grounded Theory. A very useful hour well spent gaining valuable insights on Grounded Theory from two published authors in the field, useful to obtain their perspective on that a theory is – a framework with explanatory power. Most encouraging was that the difference between Grounded Theory and Thematic analysis as propounded on the webinar was remarkably close to the one I shared with a group of students at the University of Kent the other week. It is always good to obtain confirmation. Perhaps the most surprising part of the morning was the mention of an author who I really enjoyed reading as a much younger person. Many years ago I read a book called “on Death and Dying” by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. It turns out that through Chicago she has a close link to Anselm Strauss, one of the originators of Grounded Theory, and shared insights with him in his work on dying. How ironic that I have come full circle; almost an iteration in the vein of Grounded Theory research.
My next steps are to finish transcription and continue with analysis. People often ask me why I transcribe the old fashioned way, typing each of my interviews. It helps get me close to the data, and allows me to analyse as I type. Getting “intimate” with the data is important in qualitative research, the type of research I am performing for this part of my project and whilst there are software packages out there that no doubt could make my life easier – I won’t say it isn’t tough typing up 30 minutes of discussion *22 and the rest, in the end I believe it will be worth every minute